USDA’s latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through Oct. 24, had a few interesting data points for traders to digest. For starters, the agency’s first assessment of 2021/22 winter wheat crop quality was well below analyst estimates, with planting pace also slightly down from the average trade guess. For corn and soybeans, harvest continues moving at a healthy clip, as farmers were able to get another 13-14% of the total crop out of the field this past week.
Winter wheat plantings reached 80% through Sunday. That’s up from 70% a week ago and identical to the prior five-year average. And 55% of the crop is now emerged, up from 44% a week ago but behind the prior five-year average of 59%.
Analysts significantly missed the mark on crop quality, with USDA reporting 46% rated in good-to-excellent condition in its first assessment of the season. The average trade guess was much higher, at 54%. Another 34% of the crop is rated fair, with the remaining 20% rated poor or very poor.
The 2021 corn harvest moved from 52% a week ago up to 66% through Oct. 24. Analysts had expected USDA to report progress of 65%. Harvest pace remains very swift compared to recent years – the prior five-year average is 53%.
This year’s soybean harvest also maintained solid forward momentum, moving from 60% last week up to 73% through Sunday. That’s well behind 2020’s pace of 82% but still moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 70%.
Other row crop harvests around the country are also making headway, including:
- Cotton at 35% (up from 28% a week ago)
- Sorghum at 71% (up from 59% a week ago)
- Peanuts at 51% (up from 38% a week ago)
- Sugarbeets at 64% (up from 40% a week ago)
- Rice at 95% (up from 92% a week ago)
Click here to read today’s USDA crop progress report for information on additional crops, plus a look at the latest pasture and range conditions.